It is time again for the bi-yearly Big XII Quarterback Name Rankings. For those of you that were not reading us in 2008 (or in other words, those that are not me), I had originally planned for this feature to happen every year, but 2009 consisted of mostly all of the same QB Names as 2008 so it was tabled until 2010. Enjoy!
There is no doubt that the Big XII is blessed with some talented quarterbacks, but do they have the names to become legends? Since the dawn of time a majority of successful QB’s at all levels of the game have had extremely bad-ass quarterback sounding names. While difficult to define, a good QB name is one of those things you just know when you hear it. For example: there is no way a guy named Carson Palmer could play linebacker. That name was meant for a quarterback. Other great QB names include Y.A. Tittle, Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, Joe Montana, Warren Moon, Colt McCoy and a host of others. If I had to try to define it, a good quarterback name should evoke an image of a man that is the perfect mixture of the cocky, prickish, popular kid from your high school and a cocky, prickish, super hero. A name that evokes an image of a man that, based on his own extensive experience, has very well informed opinions about the fake vs real breasts argument. A name that evokes an image of a man that you simultaneously hate, respect, fear, love, resent, and accidentally pictured once or twice during an intimate moment (or if you are a female, every intimate moment).
So let's take a look at the Big XII's quarterback names and see who comes out on top (of whoever they want).
note: Only starters are eligible.. one entry per team.
disclaimer: I am evaluating these people on name alone, this is not meant to mock or mimic anything about their real life.
#12. Tyler Hansen
This isn't a terrible quarterback name, but there just isn't much there. I can see Tyler being a badass, and I can see him sorta being a prick, but I don't automatically assume any of these things upon first hearing his name. Like when someone says "Tyler Hansen" there is no specific type of person that pops into your head. "Oh, you mean Tyler Hansen my math tutor, or Tyler Hansen the ultimate fighter?" Just a clean slate of a name that could be applied to anyone, and doesn't really represent a good or bad quarterback name... it's just a name. Maybe he should go by "Ty"? That might move him up a few spots. And by the way, if Cody Hawkins ends up being named the starter, you can go ahead and slot him in at #3 on this list.
#11. (tie) Taylor Potts, Brandon Weeden, Blaine Gabbert
Three guys with serviceable quarterback first names, but last names that just don't quite work. Maybe it is the vague drug connotation of Potts and Weeden, and the muppet quality of Gabbert, but these three names make me think of guys that should be on the medal podium after a dirt-track midget-car race. I don't hear any of these names and think of a guy that I have absolute confidence in leading my team on a game winning two-minute drive, then celebrating that victory by leading himself into some tang that I can only dream of, and that will be forever changed by the experience. If I met a girl and she told me she was dating a guy named Blaine Gabbert, I would not be intimidated in the least. In fact I would laugh and laugh the next day while I was telling Blaine that I cleared a path to the bottom of that for him.
#8. Robert Griffin III
Now here is some cockiness. Robert Griffin III can definitely be a prick... no doubt about it. The problem is that he kinda seems like a sailing or a tennis prick. Like a prick that is too good for everyone. Quarterbacks need more of a "likable even though they are a prick" kind of a name. There needs to be some fire in the name and Robert Griffin III is not quite there. Robert Griffin III is more the kind of prick that won't fight anyone, instead he will threaten to have his dad fire your dad.
#7. (tie) Jerrod Johnson, Austen Arnaud, Garrett Gilbert
The three guys who squeeze the most out of their QB names due to both names starting with the same letter. This is always a good tactic when forming a solid QB name as it just rolls off the tongue in a bad ass sort of way. So those of you that don't have the most cocky QB sounding last names, remember this trick when naming your kids. The same starting letter trick gives these guys a hard-worker and straight shooter kind of a feel to them. Like they are the guys that keep everyone else on the team in check, and this is a great trait for a quarterback. The downside is that even though they have confidence pouring out of every orifice (gross), it is an honorable confidence, and as we know, a truly great QB name needs to have more of a prickishly cocky confidence feel to it. These guys seem more like the FCA types, and while there is nothing wrong with that (see: Tebow, Tim)... while these three are busy helping out in their communities, their girlfriends are having their parts rocked by the Josh Freeman's and Chase Daniel's of the quarterbacking world... maybe even at the same time.
#4. Landry Jones
Now this is a solid first name... holy hell... Landry? How is that even fair? If his last name were a little more catchy, he is right up at the top of this list. However, for what the name "Jones" costs him in cockiness, it benefits him in All-American appeal. Like he is the kind of guy where even before he has stepped foot on a college campus, the small town that he is from puts up a sign that says:
Welcome to [Town Name]
Home of [Quarterback Name]
While this may sound like he has the same "too nice" problem as the three guys above, the difference is that Landry Jones actually is a cocky bastard, he just goes about it in a likable way. For example: Down the street from Landry there lives an eight year old boy named Parker whose Dad moved away a few years ago, and Parker desperately wants someone to play catch with him. Well Landry Jones will take the time out of his afternoon to walk down the street and play a little catch with Parker, making that kids day. Then when they are done, Landry will step into the house and give his surprisingly hot mom the mind-blowing orgasm that she has been sorely needing, making her year. And he does this not for the conquest or for his own selfish reasons... he does it because he knows he is the only one that can do it and do it right. He does it for her benefit... and indirectly, for little Parker's benefit. Overall, Landry Jones is a great unselfish team leader that still knows he is better than you.
#3. Zac Lee
Another that has an All-American feel to it, but Zach Lee also brings an edginess to the table. Zac Lee is an unbelievable specimen that excels at everything he attempts. He is just as comfortable in a half-pipe or chasing down a shoplifter as he is on the football field... and he is way better than you at all those things, and everything else. Zac Lee is always referred to by first and last name, and it is often shouted or expressed like it is the introduction for the intercontinental champion. Oh.. and he is ever the prick. Zac Lee will perform the most athletic maneuver you have ever seen in order to save a kid that wandered out into the street, then before anyone else can even register what just happened, Zac Lee will tell the kid:
"Watch where the fuck you are standing kid. Next time I may not be here, or may not feel like saving your dumb ass... then what? You think that pussy Brandon Weeden over there is gonna save you? Now get your shit together and get outta here kid."
Zac Lee has the cocky quarterback mentality down to an art. The only thing preventing him from moving up this list is his short temper. A true cocky quarterback is too busy being an icon and taking virginities to waste time getting riled up and allowing other people to affect him.
#2. Kale Pick
Kale Pick, on the other hand, doesn't let anyone else affect him. Without even trying, Kale Pick dictates the atmosphere of every environment he is in, has been in, or will be in (future environments can sense him coming). Kale Pick spends a ton of time in front of the mirror, and uses more hair product in a week than Tyler Hansen uses in a year. He has been told by numerous people that if football, or med school, or taking over his Dad's business, or any other of the numerous opportunities that have magically opened themselves up to Kale Pick don't work out for him, he can always fall back on becoming a model. Kale Pick bangs girls that Austen Arnaud only dreams of, but he will tell you: "I don't just run through them like when I was an immature sixteen year old just trying to get my count into the thousands. Now I only pick the cream of the crop". This arrogance translates well onto the field, but he will always be a little too much of a prima donna to take the top spot on this list.
#1. Carson Coffman
Here is your winner... and it wasn't even close. The separation between 1st and 2nd place is about the same as between 2nd and 9th. Is an explanation of how good of a QB name Carson Coffman is really necessary? If your team is down by seven, and you need an 85 yard bomb to take the game, would you even be worried if Carson Coffman was the one slinging that pass? And more importantly, would you be comfortable with your girlfriend being within 100 feet of Carson Coffman? If your girlfriend told you: "Hey... Me and Britney are gonna go hang out with Carson Coffman," would you let her go? You better not. Her and Britney would be in the middle of a trademark Carson Coffman three-way in less than 4 minutes. And you couldn't even get mad at her for it. It was your own fault. No girlfriend in America should be left alone with Carson Coffman, and you should have known better.
Congrats Carson, and congrats to all the Big XII QB names. While the top of the list isn't as loaded as in past years with Colt, Graham, Chase, and Josh gone, I think the top to bottom depth is stronger than it has ever been. There isn't a single bad quarterback name in the bunch. No more Joe Ganz or Blake Szymanski's to weigh down the bottom part of the list. Go Big XII QB Names!